Andrew Orolua Abuja
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday fixed May 22, to hear an application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar seeking the disqualification of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa from presiding over their petition.
Justice Bulkachuwa announced the date during the sitting after an hour meeting in the Chamber with the petitioners’ lawyers and respondents’ lawyers failed to resolve the issue.
When the Court reconveyed after the meeting in chamber, Justice Bulkachuwa said that since the issue in contention has been made public it is better for it to be resolved in an open court. She then asked Levi Ozoukwu to move his oral application to that regard asking that she rescue herself from the panel .
But ,Ozoukwu SAN told the Court he will come formally by way of a written application.
The respondent lawyers did not oppose the request for adjournment but stated that they would need seven days to respond to the petitioner application from the date they are served with the application.
Justice Bulkachuwa , thereafter gave PDP and Atiku till tomorrow Thursday to file their application and the respondents three days to respond and adjourned till May 22 by the agreement of the lawyers to hear the application.
Earlier when the petition was mentioned Ozoukwu SAN the lead counsel to Atiku and PDP had sought a private meeting in chamber where he said the matter could be discussed and resolved.
The court obliged to his request and retired to the chamber to hear the complain by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had last week after the pre hearing of notice filed in court , observed that the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa presided over the five man panel.
They asked her to rescue herself from the panel on the likelihood that she would bias because her husband was elected senator in Buachi State at the election being g challenged on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But when the the court resumed it was clear that the issue was not resolved .